Roman Legionary Costume

Discussion in 'Replica Costumes' started by hc8719, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. hc8719

    hc8719 Member

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    Hi all, these are pictures of from my Roman Legionary impression, circa AD40, and all parts of the costume are made after real archaeological finds. The armor is fully functional, and because it is segmented allows me to move, sit, and bend in relative comfort.

    I became a reenactor this summer (though I have yet to attend an event, I started a little late in the season), and while my costume is not specifically related to any particular movie, the movie "Centurion" and "Spartacus: Blood and Sand" both feature Roman legionaries (and in the case of Spartacus, guards as well), wearing the same armor, called "Lorica Segmentata". Everything that appears to be metal, is metal.

    Altogether, the kit (reenactor speak for costume) weighs about 30lbs. The only thing I made myself was the linen tunic, everything else was bought from online vendors and was made by the following

    Lorica Segmentata, Imperial Gallic A helmet, military belt (balteus), and military boots (caligae) were made by an Indian company called "Deepeeka", I am not sure the manufacturer of the sword, but I know it is a Pompeii style gladius based off the example from the Guttman collection.

    I'm happy to answer any questions

    -Matt

    Links to compare the costume to cinema:

    Spartacus: Spartacus (blood and sand) Spartacus vs 7 Roman legionaries - YouTube
    Centurion (bloody): Centurion (The Battle) - YouTube

    Kindly nevermind the fact that the armor in either clips appears to be horribly ineffective lol
     
    Pete SSS likes this.
  2. dkaniel

    dkaniel Sr Member

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    Excellent looking outfit sir! How much did the whole thing set you back?
    On the sword did it come with a sharp edge or was it shipped dull? How much was the sword alone and can you provide info on where you got it. I use to do some reenactment as a Civil War Rebel Soldier and enjoyed it while I was able to do it. I hope you have many years of enjoyment with your new hobby.
     
  3. mrbungle

    mrbungle Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    very cool. i love historical outfit. i want to make a roman soldier from the time of julius ceasar. 50bc? but i have way to many tattoos for it.
     
  4. hc8719

    hc8719 Member

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    Thanks guys, the sword features a mild steel blade, real bone hilt, and wood pommel and guard, the scabbard made of wood, wrapped in leather with brass accents. I'll try and get a picture of it up later. It came unsharpened, mild steel is not the best grade for keeping an edge, (although I have sharpened a mild steel blade before, and it didn't turn out too bade.

    The blade is a bit heavier than what the originals would have weighed only because nearly all swords under the $600 range are made thicker to keep a blunt edge, it is heavy at first, but you get used to it. If you properly belt sanded it much of this weight would be taken off.

    I will say the blade is thin enough, and because of the weight is there behind a decent swing, this blunt sword carved clean through a jack-o-lantern. Still the blade is too thick to cut the skin (although the tip is pointy and a thrust may break the skin, and a good swing might break a bone).

    In the reenacting community, you are greatly discouraged from having a sharp blade, at least at events.

    Altogether the total kit new would cost about $500, I was lucky and parts some things used and the kit was built over the course of 6 months. I would also like the point out that this is more of a frugal kit, with most parts being near the bottom of the "acceptable parts list". Perhaps a good example would be the comparison between a medium priced Vader and an all out $2500 Vader costume.

    The link for the sword, as well as the vendor I got most of my equipment, it is run by an reenactor by the name of Rusty out of S. Carolina. My sword is the older style Pompeii Gladius "Magnus" which if he has any left were selling for $65+$15 shipping, shoot him a message if interested.

    SW0012NH Pompeii Gladius "MAGNUS"
     
  5. PotionMistress

    PotionMistress Sr Member

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    Weren't most of the Lorica segmentata used after 75AD? I thought previous to that, most Roman soldiers wore the chainmail armor. I could be wrong there.

    BTW, you look magnificent!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  6. Apollo

    Apollo Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Friends, Romans,.... Always a treat to see a Roman Reenactor.

    One day I am going to have to get a kit
     
  7. hc8719

    hc8719 Member

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    Thank you PotionMistress and Apollo, over the past few decades they have found earlier and earlier examples segmentata. Mine dates as early as AD40, but half of another style was found at the site of the 'Battle of Teutoburg Forest 9AD' and is called the Kalkriese-type, since then there have been parts of the Kalkriese type that date as early as 10 BC.

    Chainmail and scale armor were the principle types of armor used before and after the segmentata, and were used during the segmentata's timeline as well which lasted until 300 AD.

    Chainmail took awhile to make as getting iron into a wire form was not easy, and then putting hundreds or thousands of rings together was not a simple task. Segmentata could be made rather quickly as it is just plates cut out and placed together riveted with leather straps. It provides excellent protection from blunt force trauma (think long sword or battle axe blows), but mobility is somewhat limited at the shoulders.

    Reenactors debate quite a bit on how effective mail was vs plate armor
     

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